It took us 2.5 hours to get to the mud festival. We spent 5 hours playing in mud. We got lost for 1.5 hours. Then it took us 5.5 hours to get home. Yes – we spent more time travelling than anything else.
The day began as normal – little sleep because of a late night out to welcome Cezan to Korea (for the night, Korean Beef BBQ was in order as were drinks in a park and a live band in a bar). The girls were on 2 hours of sleep when we made our journey down to the bus terminal only to find out that we had to wait approx. an hour for the first bus to Daecheon Beach (the information booth guy said there were earlier buses!).The ride was full of restless sleep and confusion. i.e. “where are we and is this where we get off?” The bus driver made announcements in Korean and we had no idea what was going on. So we decided to follow people who were obviously going to the beach as well. Yes, we have become stalkers of English-speaking people in Korea.
When we finally got to the Boryeong Mud Festival (www.mudfestival.or.kr) at Daecheon Beach, we got down and dirty after finding a good spot. Mud was everywhere. when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. There was no way to avoid it. We attacked each other with muddy paintbrushes to get a nice even layer of mud. Keep in mind that this isn’t just any mud – it’s supposed to be good for your skin. Boryeong is known for their mud massages and mud skin products. After mud painting, we decided to cause a little ruckus in the mud pool. I have battle wounds from a mudfight with Hanna. Apparently the pool wasn’t made to cushion falls.
So many people were muddied up – foreigners, locals, adults, youths, little kids. There were more things to do, like the mud slide and obstacle course, but only if you wanted to line up in a huge line and most of you know that i don’t do line-ups unless absolutely necessary. There were some nice people to be met there, definitely.
After washing ourselves out on the beach and after Cezan’s fulfilled desire of being buried in sand (and being made into a sand mermaid),
we ate street food and decided to go to the bus terminal to buy our tickets home to Seoul. Alas, we got lost. We walked around and attempted to find this bus terminal. We obviously did not take in our surroundings when we were walking from it to the beach when we got there. We asked a staff member but he was directing us to the Daecheon Bus Terminal (this is different from the Daecheon Beach Bus Terminal which we later found out). Then a nice lady escorted us (had us follow her) to the Beach Bus Terminal which was really great of her. Now you’d think we were relieved to finally be there…and we were…until we found out that ALL bus tickets to Seoul had been sold out for the night. now there were 4 girls potentially stranded. We were pretty adamant on getting home though so the bus ticket lady had an unofficial translator help us find a way home. We took the biggest detour to get home – hence why it took us more than double the time to get home than to get to Daecheon.
To top it off, when we made it to the Cheonam Bus Terminal (end of our bus detour), we had to taxi to the subway station. We didn’t know where we were so another man from the bus ticket counter escorted us to the taxis and told us where to go. Yea, we had quite the number of unofficial guides that day.
We ended up catching the last trains. And everyone stared at the 4 semi-muddy girls who were using towels as blankets in the cold subway.
When we had to transfer to another subway line the oddest thing happened. Everyone started RUNNING for the transfer subway train. We had no idea why they were running, but we knew it was for good reason so we broke out into a fast run too. I kid you not, these people seemed like they were running for their lives. When we got the platform, we found out that everyone was running for the last train – a very good reason to run, I guess. So us girls were lucky to catch the last one. And we were relieved to be finally home…so relieved that we went to eat and shop from 2 – 4 am.
All in all, an eventful day full of “a series of unfortunate events” (Cezan Duong, 2007)